Welsh Witterings 9: March 2014
Suddenly the fields are transformed to lush green and the spring lambs are bounding around the hills, spring has finally arrived and every patch of Wales is dancing with daffodils. I notice that the primroses are starting to emerge and I can’t wait to make primrose and cardamom curd.
On Sunday I visited Cardiff to take part in an interview on BBC Wales with Roy Noble, he sampled my award winning marmalade and I chatted about the history of this golden preserve and also the subject of St. Patrick Day traditions. After the interview I visited the wonderful Cocoricoco Patisserie, where the cakes and pastries are as delightful to look at as they are to eat. Everything is hand-made and there is nothing better than sipping a cappuccino as you watch freshly baked bread emerging from the oven.
A brief potter around the capital of Wales was followed by a cream tea at the Park Plaza whose staff accommodated Hattie and Libby’s every whim, even whipping up complimentary milkshakes for them. The cakes and sandwiches were divine, but the raspberry jelly with cream scored the highest marks from Libby. A lovely day out was followed by a scenic drive home, that saw Hattie and Libby fall asleep, making for a quiet journey.
For St Patricks Day I decided I had to celebrate with an Irish Coffee, something I haven’t drunk for years and was better than I remembered. After all I had a duty to celebrate this saints day as Patrick (Patricius or Padrig) was born a Welshman. His birth name was Maewyn Succat and his birthplace is in fact debatable, with many believing that he was born in the still Welsh-speaking Northern Kingdom of Strathclyde of Romano-Brythonic stock, at Bannavem Taberniae, whilst others, including myself consider his birthplace to be in the south of Wales at St. Davids in Pembrokeshire.
With the improvement in weather a full attack on the garden will now be launched and those weeds won’t know what’s hit them. I’ve already reclaimed several raised beds and discovered a strawberry patch. Suddenly my dream of home grown vegetables doesn’t seem so distant. I was sad to hear of the recent passing of Clarissa Dickson-Wright as she was a great ambassador for the now rather unloved Cardoon a vegetable I have a great love of myself and I will be growing this year.
Finally I made it to my local auction and amidst the complaints of boredom from my children I managed to successfully bid on a 1940’s kitchen unit and a rather kitsch 1950’s china cabinet. It bidding brought back old memories of when I used to attend sale rooms every week and was considered a regular by the auctioneers, so much so, that when I was pregnant with my first child and had a beetroot craving the auctioneers wife at my local sale used to greet me at the entrance with a mug of tea and a cheese and beetroot sandwich, which at half past eight in the morning and seven months pregnant I thought was heavenly.
Well another week has passed as quickly as the last and I look forward to sharing my witterings with you again next week.
Da bo ti (good bye)